A classic cocktail, the espresso martini is only improved with the addition of eggnog. While it means that glorious head of coffee foam doesn’t sit on top of the drink I think it’s a fair price to pay for the luscious blend of eggnog and coffee in a fancy cocktail glass.
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What is an Espresso Martini in the first place?
That beautiful espresso martini! In its classic presentation a dark black block with a creamy foam head on top, usually garnished with a few espresso beans. In the classic espresso martini we work with four main elements, espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka and simple syrup. It’s designed to wake you up as a late night drink – with a little alcohol to make it very booze forward as well.
Invented in 1983 by Dick Bradselt at the Soho Brasserie in London, it was made for a customer who asked for a drink to “wake her up and **** her up.” It was a blend of fresh hot espresso, vodka (which was kind of the thing in the 80s) and a coffee liqueur.
Eggnog in the Espresso Martini works like a charm
You don’t have that gorgeous foam, but you’ve got a creamy cocktail easy to dress up with a fresh grated nutmeg and coffee beans. I originally wanted to make a hot eggnog latte, but the eggnog was overpowered by the heavy espresso aromas.
But switching to cold brew concentrate, and using a healthy dose of eggnog solved that worry, keeping everything balanced. While it may be better made with fresh espresso, we don’t have an espresso machine at home. Since it’s just a fun riff on the classic espresso martini I didn’t feel too worried about this tweak in the classic recipe.
Flavors in the Eggnog Espresso Martini
To ensure you get a great dose of that eggnog flavor, make sure you use a great eggnog, not a light eggnog or sugar free eggnog. Using one of those will likely make the end product taste processed and artificial. I used Evan Williams eggnog since I still had a bottle in the fridge. However, when I made my official homemade eggnog next week I’ll be using that version.
In addition to the eggnog, I wanted to make sure the coffee flavors really popped so instead of using the traditional Kahlua I’ve used Patron XO Cafe – and vibrant, rich coffee liqueur I prefer far over Kahlua.
While you can opt for vodka, like the traditional, I tested with both rum and whiskey and both were great options. And finally I added in just a touch of amaretto to add a bit of that sweet nuttiness that I find in homemade eggnogs that doesn’t always make it through to a store-bought nog.
How to Make the Eggnog Espresso Martini
Simple and easy to make, you’ll pour the ingredients over ice in a shaker, shake vigorously until chilled. Then strain into a chilled martini glass. While you could make fancy holiday patterns with an espresso powder on the top I opted for simplicity. I added a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and three espresso beans.
Variations I tried included substituting vodka and rum for the whiskey I chose to round out vanilla notes. Rum tasted better to me than vodka. But I sometimes spike my eggnog with either rum or whiskey – so my expected flavor profile for anything with eggnog includes those flavors.
Other Holiday Cocktails You Should Try:
- Hot N Buttered
- Caramel Turtle Alexander
- Salted Caramel Orange Hot Chocolate
- Gingerbread Martini
- Peppermint Chocolate Old Fashioned
Recommended Bar Tools
You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:
You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:
Eggnog Espresso Martini
- 2 oz eggnog
- ½ oz coffee liqueur I used Patron XO Cafe
- ½ oz cold brew concentrate
- ½ oz rye whiskey
- ¼ oz amaretto
- Fresh grated nutmeg
- Garnish: fresh grated nutmeg coffee beans
- Combine eggnog, coffee liqueur, cold brew concentrate, whiskey, amaretto and a bit of fresh grated nutmeg in a shaking tin and add ice. Shake for 10-12 seconds, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with more fresh nutmeg and coffee beans.